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Concertina weight - why bother?

Guran 10 Dec 08 - 04:39 PM
Ptarmigan 10 Dec 08 - 04:52 PM
The Sandman 10 Dec 08 - 05:59 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM
Rowan 10 Dec 08 - 10:49 PM
Guran 11 Dec 08 - 03:05 AM
Alan Day 11 Dec 08 - 03:30 AM
GUEST 11 Dec 08 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,LDT 11 Dec 08 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,The Black Belt Caterpillar Wrestler 11 Dec 08 - 07:26 AM
ConcertinaChap 11 Dec 08 - 08:00 AM
Guran 11 Dec 08 - 08:58 AM
CupOfTea 11 Dec 08 - 09:50 AM
EBarnacle 11 Dec 08 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,boxbox 11 Dec 08 - 09:57 AM
Alan Day 11 Dec 08 - 11:43 AM
The Sandman 11 Dec 08 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,The black belt caterpilar wrestler 12 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Dec 08 - 04:49 PM
Guran 16 Dec 08 - 11:21 AM
Guran 16 Dec 08 - 11:24 AM
Guran 16 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM
Guran 16 Dec 08 - 11:43 AM
Guran 16 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM
Alan Day 16 Dec 08 - 12:19 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM
Guran 10 Dec 09 - 12:37 PM
EBarnacle 10 Dec 09 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,30_button 10 Dec 09 - 04:49 PM
Guran 11 Dec 09 - 02:22 AM
Guran 11 Dec 09 - 02:56 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Dec 09 - 03:52 AM
Guran 11 Dec 09 - 08:52 AM
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Subject: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:39 PM

Repeatedly the issue comes up comparing weights of concertinas. Players often seem much concerned about finding the lightest model to play and makers consequently market their products by enforcing the supposed advantage with lightness.Since the subject has been touched in the late discussion in this forum on larger models like tenors and baritones I would like to oppose against the common view on this item since I really think misunderstandings are very common and settled historically without much reason.Some clarification may be in place.

The *necessary* physical work when playing any squeezebox consists of a)pumping air b) finding buttons c) pressing or hitting buttons. The weight of any squeezebox has very little importance for these *necessary* tasks.It certainly is significant for carrying the instrument - like transporting it to sites of performance, taking it out from its case and loading the body with its mass - and there certainly is *some* weight-related effort that is hard to avoid also when playing but in my view that quantum is much overrated and misjudged and thus causing this common fear for heavy models.

The necessary effort factor 'a)pumping air' is depending upon the force by the arms/hands, the area of the moving ends and the air flow resistance.Weight has got nothing to do with this except that you may carry one or both ends of the instrument while pumping but that duty may be much reduced or even eliminated by efficient technique or by using efficient means to support the instrument.

I stop here for the time being and wish to ask the readers:Do you bother about the weight of the concertina and in that case - why?

Goran


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Ptarmigan
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:52 PM

Goran, my own major concern, first & foremost, is always with how the instrument sounds!

Of course, it's a bonus if the instrument looks good too, but neither is that the most important factor, cause over the years, I've played a number of old scarred & bashed about Banjos that weren't much to look at, but which sounded great.

Likewise when it comes to weight, I reckon with all the various additional straps you can attach to a Concertina nowadays, weight really should not be an issue.

Give me a big, scarred, old heavy Concertina over a small, light, pretty young instrument every time. There's a lot to be said for an interesting patina.

Just like my women, I guess I like my Concertinas big & cuddly, with plenty to get a hold of! :-)

Cheers
Dick


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:59 PM

http://www.dickmiles.com
weight is important.,as is developing muscles to play heavier instruments with gusto.
just try playing the bells on a baritone concertina or a bass concertina,sorry Guran,I will believe you when I see a video of you playing the bells on a baritone concertina or better still a bass,and swinging it round your head.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:08 PM

Hi Dick,
I still have my 60 odd key anglo in ADGC and have no problem playing it, even standing up, including the bells, but carrying it any distance in its wooden box is beginning to stretch my arms. Did someone mention a shopping trolley? Good idea!
I'm just off to try the bells on my bass anglo.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Rowan
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 10:49 PM

It's rather tricky trying to waltz the floor with your partner while playing the tune with any concer much bigger than a tenor/treble; even if your lady is wasp-wasted the standard 6" AF version (Anglo, English or duet) works best.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 03:05 AM

Captain Dick,

Quote:"weight is important.,as is developing muscles to play heavier instruments with gusto".

Re:For "carrying" as I said.Very little for actual *playing*.The same with strong muscles.Physical strength may certainly be a bonus if you got it but hardly any rational object for taking up physical training with the aim to improve concertina playing abilities.Concertinas weigh round 1000-3000grams and you expect every grown-up healthy individual being strong enough swinging that mass around without major problems.

Quote:"just try playing the bells on a baritone concertina or a bass concertina,sorry Guran,I will believe you when I see a video of you playing the bells on a baritone concertina or better still a bass,and swinging it round your head".

Re: LikeI said - No problem really,weight-wise.I'll fix a video if I get time practising "bells" a little first since I haven't before...
My 43 key F-bass weighs 2700g and my bigger baritone 2600g so that makes no difference, but fixing the "bells" with single action bass and its floppier bellows I expect will make it trickier with the bass than the baritone weighing the same.
What generally makes the difference doing such things with a bigger instrument again IS the end area and related pumping effort NOT the weight and related carrying effort! But I agree of course that exactly that kind of excess is one of the few examples when weight can be of significant importance.For all kinds of more 'common' performance I claim that it is negligable conditionally that suitable technique is practised.

Goran


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Alan Day
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 03:30 AM

The only time weight has been an issue is ladies, small children and people with some physical problem prefer a lighter instrument.Having said that I was watching a little six or seven year old playing Irish music on her Jeffries Anglo with no problem at all.Certainly if the instrument is supported on your knee or you give the instrument additional support whilst playing standing up then this may overcome any
worries you may have about weight.I have a converted BpFC Anglo from Duet and I have no problems at all.In this respect I agree with Goran completely.
Al


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:03 AM

Alan, presumably a converted Jeffries duet? How many buttons? Are your 3 key rows in standard anglo placement?
Re ladies' instruments, there were specific smaller models at the lower end of the market, just like there are ladies' accordeon models. I have a slightly smaller old East German 2 row that purports to be a ladies model.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:22 AM

As a lady I find playing the concertina is definatly a work out. With all the pushing and pulling. Although when it comes to weight...my handbag is comparative in heaviness so not problems there.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: GUEST,The Black Belt Caterpillar Wrestler
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:26 AM

It isn't purely weight that is the problem. I have no trouble playing the whole of the Saddleworth Rushcart route which is walking (occasionaly running!) at a fair speed whilst playing mostly bog standard tunes in G. It's when you start having to stretch for accidentals that you start to notice the effort involved.
A heavier instrument means more inertia to overcome when reversing direction so more effort involved particularly when playing fast tunes, and without checking the mathematics I suspect that this is not a linear scale effect but a square or even a cube effect.
Also the button top profile can cause problems. My 1962 Wheatstone has buttons that are more domed/less flat and this make them uncomfortable to play after about 5/6 hours.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:00 AM

I dunno, maybe I'm a wimp, but I do like the lightness of my Morse anglo when playing for morris standing up. Sitting down, it's back to the Jeffries.

Morses for courses?


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:58 AM

Guys,a couple of short comments before I am off for some days...

Alan,
Yes! Children can teach us a lot if we just listen and learn...

GuestLDT,
Handbag was a fine example! - I can't imagine carrying my wife's.And what you say confirms the declaration on strenous pumping.

GuestBlackBelt,
You said:"A heavier instrument means more inertia to overcome when reversing direction"

NOPE! - not a bit! This is one of the common misunderstandings.You are
constantly working to overcome the pressure gradient.Both on push and pull.As soon as your own applied force ceases, air flow and sound stops and the ends don't move anywhere from any "inertia" - unless you twist and turn or swing the instrument about, but that is not needed and you need no mathematics for it...

I fully agree about possible problems with button width and profile.
This is a constant riddle to me.All other keyboard devices - musical instruments,phones,computer keyboards,calculators etc have a lot more
comfortable buttons than British tradition concertinas.10-15mm wide flat or concave(!) profile is expectedly the ideal situation unless you want to press more than one button with the same finger when a convex profile may be preferrable.
I use flat 6mm buttons on Englishes.I have changed to up to 10mm ones on anglos.

ConcertinaChap,
Ca 1000g for the Morse?1500g for the Jeffries? Never mind - it really should not matter even when standing.It may be a matter of habit rather. Try using a shoulder-strap just for curiosity (and let the instrument hang in a rather low position )to get used to not thinking about the weight.You don't bother about it when sitting...:-)

Goran


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:50 AM

Weight? Lord, I thought it was COST in concertinas that was the bigger bother. After hauling around an autoharp in a hardshell case for years, toting a concertina seems like the difference between car camping and backpacking! And what is a six or seven year old doing with a Jeffries? Jaysus, makes an old lady jealous, it does.

At a wild guess, I'd figure that those of us who own stuff on the "cheap" end of concertinas - the under $1,000. category - tend to have the heavier concertinas, and might be more likely to be beginners who don't walk about while playing. This issue is news to me, but interesting to hear experienced players debate.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:56 AM

One of the major reasons I sold the Edeophone was its weight. At that time, I was constantly on stage with a group which generally played standing up. The Edeophone was too much for my wrists, even then. As a fencer, my wrists are not exactly weak but the constant load was too much for them.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: GUEST,boxbox
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:57 AM

Sorry, Goran, but I believe that "finding the buttons" is a mental, rather than a physical effort.

I agree that "pumping air" and "pressing buttons" are two necessary physical activities, but so is a third: supporting the weight of the instrument.

A well made and properly set up concertina should have a balance between the button spring pressure, the bellows action and the weight, be it an 81 button Maccann, a 20 key anglo or anything in between.

Adding as many straps and fittings as you like to achieve some sort of ergonomic Nirvana may help to achieve this, but in the end it all comes down to balance, and using whatever strength we have to match the well thought out designs of the master makers.

Have we been here before, or was that in another forum?


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Alan Day
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:43 AM

Guest, it is a 51 Button Anglo (Duet conversion) with four rows,the top three rows is exactly as my other Jeffries,but the bottom row is high piccalo "C"
The buttons includes the air and drone buttons.
Al


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:03 PM

Guran,you are of course, right as always.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpilar wrestler
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM

Guran,
I think that inertia is involved.
Agreed that when you close the airflow the concertina end will cease to move, but this is not instantaneous. It will form a partial vaccuum and then oscillate until the frictional forces in the bellows bring it to rest. Now, I think that that is going to take longer than the time taken for me to start playing another note in the opposite direction.
Also it does not allow for me playing a drone (as I quite often do for short passages of a tune as well as whole tunes) which negates the "airflow being closed" effect.

I don't think that I would want to go to too large buttons, I like to be able to detect the edges with my finger tips. It is just the increased pressure in the centre if they are too domed that is the problem.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 04:49 PM

Hi, Alan,
Apologies, the guest was me on a work computer.
That's interesting. Yours is the only other Jeffries style duet converted anglo I've come across. I've had mine nearly 40 years and bought it from Crabbs'. It is a Wheatstone hexagonal ME/MB 62 button 4-row which was in CG concert when I bought it. I converted some of the surplus seemingly random accidentals into a full 2 octave low D and A.
Although it's a Wheatstone (28930) the general concensus among the sellers is that it is a jeffries duet conversion. I have another Jeffries duet by Wheatstone. I've often toyed with the idea of converting a Crane duet into anglo, or even, shudder, a McCann!


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:21 AM

EBarnacle - PM
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:56 AM
"One of the major reasons I sold the Edeophone was its Wright"

Re: 1) Just to make sure - what model/size/weight was it? 2) If it was not enormous but say a common treble the *wrists* actually are not expected to suffer but the thumb extensors rather - particularly if you do manage fencing without problems(?) 3) Generally speaking the English
handle concept (thumbstrap and finger rest) can *never* be expected to work sufficiently for playing standing except possibly for a miniature size instrument (weight round 300g) since the
thumb extensor muscles would need to possess a max force capacity of around 6000g (10% of the weight each size of a treble) and not even well built athletes are expected to match that. One little reservation - if using a low playing position (elbow angle at least 120 degrees) with the instrument passively hanging in the thumbstraps conditions get different. See my reply to
GUEST boxbox later


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:24 AM

Correction of the earlier message:

"10% of the weight each size of a treble" should be :
10 times the weight...!!


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

GUEST,boxbox - PM
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:57 AM
>"Sorry, Goran, but I believe that "finding the buttons" is a mental, rather than a physical effort".

Re: Like all other physical activities the degree of mental influence varies. I was in this case (of course) only speaking about the physical *work* and whatever we think of that, in physical science mental effort is not even *work* at all :-)

>"I agree that "pumping air" and "pressing buttons" are two necessary physical activities, but so is a third: supporting the weight of the instrument"

Re: Objection !! You *can* definitely produce music with any squeezebox without supporting its weight actively yourself - or - you *can* do it by using your body for the task without any muscular load : You can rest the box on a table, suspend it from the ceiling or a tree, rest it on your lap or hang it on your shoulders - but you can hardly escape bellowsing or fingering…

> "A well made and properly set up concertina should have a balance between the button spring pressure, the bellows action and the weight, be it an 81 button Maccann, a 20 key anglo or anything in between"

Re: I believe I see what you mean and I can agree there is a point in that approach. If I get you right that view is limited to just one side of the essential issue however- at least from my perspective. I am not so used to expressing these matters in English so I may mess it up by going too deep into it but one important detail is differing "balance" in the everyday sense and "equilibrium"(static and dynamic) in the mechanical sense.
Your formulation as I see it is the result from overlooking that in order to work sufficiently the construction/design of the instrument firstly needs to be "balanced" in the meaning that the connection between body and instrument (= the handle) must be ´mechanically well balanced' (allowing some kind of suitable *equilibrium*) in order to admit static work to be satisfactory reduced.
Secondly the construction/design is expected to allow dynamic work to be performed in a satisfactory way and this includes the sophisticated various "balances" constituted by weight of various parts like ends, buttons, bellows - rigidity/flexibility of bellows - touch resistance by buttons etc but all the time you have to limit static effort first and deal with dynamic effort later since the latter is less demanding - otherwise inevitably you get into trouble

In principle the fingers should always be as free as possible to find and hit buttons (dynamic work) and NOT be involved in supporting or stabilizing the instrument (static work) which I suspect they are doing when you find "button spring pressure" being of importance for the "balance". It certainly is significant for the "fingering" *work* executed by the fingers though

>"..in the end it all comes down to balance, and using whatever strength we have to match the well thought out designs of the master makers".

Re: To "*match* the design" I partly agree ( or rather *fight* it…!) - but saying "well thought out" I think ( in this case) is attributing "the master makers" greater honour than they generally deserve :-)
As a matter of fact I have not come across any one maker (except maybe William Wheatstone) who has ever mentioned the importance of "balance" in this respect and personally I see very few signs that any such secret thoughts by others have ever influenced the design either !
One such matter "the master makers" have not succeeded to master for more than 150 years is that the 'handle' mostly is located eccentrically at the end plate which means that you can only hold the instrument in a "balanced" position having the upper arm vertically downwards and an elbow angle ca 120degrees or by using excessive static effort when holding the forearms in a horizontal position and you can only work the bellows in a "balanced" way by using excessive muscular force.

>"Have we been here before, or was that in another forum?"

Re: I can't tell since I don't know who you are... but the business seems un-settled…:-)


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:43 AM

Captain Birdseye - PM
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:03 PM
>"Guran,you are of course, right as always".

Re: a) Taking it literally: Thanks!
b) Taking it ironically: You want to cause my death from embarrassment??
c) Taking it seriously: That is not true - I was wrong once…or was it twice….?


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM

GUEST,The black belt caterpilar wrestler - PM
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM
>"I think that inertia is involved.
Agreed that when you close the airflow the concertina end will cease to move, but this is not instantaneous. It will form a partial vaccuum and then oscillate until the frictional forces in the bellows bring it to rest. Now, I think that that is going to take longer than the time taken for me to start playing another note in the opposite direction"

Re: Hm…I find few (or no…) requisites for oscillation to be present here. There may be some theoretical delay for the various air molecules to stop and reverse their movements vs. the stopping of end(plate) movements but that concerns the air flow - the ends stand still never the less and being subject to but negligible "inertia" - hardly do they oscillate producing any significant force(s) that matter for your playing effort.

But you speak of something else here that puzzles me. I am not sure if I get you right…
You say: "…the concertina end will cease to move, but this is not instantaneous. It will form a partial vaccuum and then oscillate until the frictional forces in the bellows bring it to rest".

I have done my very best but I can not identify your experience. Do you refer to a first class instrument in perfect condition? What you say can only occur on pull, right? With a normally stable but not rigid bellows I don't expect any forces related to the bellows being acting except in its extreme positions in or out. With imperfect bellows the compliance may be significantly reduced - the bellows 'balloons' on push and tends to collapse on pull - and also it may leak of course - can this be something you identify? Or is your bellows fairly new and highly elastic so that its 'spring' effect is more than usually present??

>"Also it does not allow for me playing a drone (as I quite often do for short passages of a tune as well as whole tunes) which negates the "airflow being closed" effect."

Re: By using some skill you can certainly hide the acoustic gap that occurs between bellows reversals - either playing a drone or any other legato - but the pressure gradient inevitably will return to zero ( and the sound effect also) for some short (maybe unperceivable) moment each time you reverse the bellows, and remember -
It is always a different read that speaks on pull and push - one has to stop and the other to start.

>"I don't think that I would want to go to too large buttons, I like to be able to detect the edges with my finger tips. It is just the increased pressure in the centre if they are too domed that is the problem".

Re: I may sympathize with that partly - I actually prefer the dead flat metal or bone 5mm old kind of buttons to most later domed tops, particularly spherically domed ones which I really hate…
It is a personal matter but like I said for all other devices than our concertinas you find much wider and more comfortable profiles…same when people are asked in inquiries ..strange…


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Alan Day
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 12:19 PM

No Guran you thought you were wrong once, but you were actually right!

Hallo Steve,I tried to play the Duet as it was, but the more I practised the more it started to effect my Anglo playing,so I had to make a decision one system or the other and stayed with the Anglo.The two tunes I was playing on the Duet arranged by Iris Bishop I decided to try and play on the Anglo.My efforts are on Utube "A sin to tell a lie" and "A Nightingale sang in Berkely Square".The Duet was not played for about a year and I decided to convert it.As it was in old concert pitch and requiring very little conversion to Bp/F I changed it to Anglo.As very little alterations were done to the reeds it is possible to convert it back to a Duet,but it is now played regularly,the key being ideal for some songs and hymns.The trombonist who joined me to play them sadly died of cancer,but I still play it but solo.
I would not recommend converting these instruments to anyone, unless you know what you are doing ,it was not an easy job and certainly used up my experiences of tuning and concertina repair work.
Al


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM

Hi Alan,
Yes I agree about too much tinkering. Changing the pitch of a reed always weakens the reed to some degree. Luckily when I rejigged my big anglo I had plenty of spare reeds and I carefully designed the new layout to avoid moving reeds of too different sizes. Although the A row and the D row are in strange places I have got used to them and can switch from one to the other effortlessly now, even in the tunes that have key changes like Jenny Lind and Jig o' slurs. The 2+ octaves I have in D are at the lower end of the scale. I also use all four keys for song accompaniment.

Where are you based?
Steve


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 12:37 PM

The weight matter comes up repetatedly and has popped up again on:
http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=10430

This concern certainly is understandable some way since a (too) quick thought naturally will make the question motivated and of course it can not be denied that at extremes the weight has got importance for playing facilities BUT within the ranges when people mostly are comparing the instrument weights the significance thereof is neglictable.
Since new readers may have popped up as well I can't control myself from repeating some answers again ...:-)

1)The absolutely dominating work related to *playing* concertinas is the pumping effort.It may vary between 5-10kg at energetic playing
The major difference in playing effort between large and small concertinas is related to the end size - neither the weight, nor the length of the bellows but a long bellows needs more stabilizing work.

2)Carrying the instrument is a matter of usually 1-2kg and the variations people compare often concern for anglos say 100g more or less and a fraction of 10-15% of the total weight - just about the
detectable difference, and hardly ever an important difference regarding endurance of playing, not even standing

3) Pumping effort can not be avoided - it is essential for the musicmaking as well as the fingering on the keys.

4) Carrying effort on the other hand can almost entirely be eliminated if being an important factor. The instrument may rest on knee(s) when seated and hung up on straps when playing standing

5)Using a "neckstrap" however is NOT a recommended, particularly not the traditional thin cord.A broad( 50-60mm) strap is better, and the very best is using one or two broad elastic shoulder straps and very important: when hanging the instrument up in any kind of strap the playing position must be low(!) - elbow angle about 120 degrees or more - to achieve reasonably good effect from the arrangement. The traditional position with forearms horisontal when playing standing with a neckstrap can only be regarded as contraproductive or even absurd.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 04:36 PM

The instrument was a 56 button tenor treble and it weighed significantly more than my then and current Wheatstone. Even though it was ebony ended and beautiful, it weighed too much.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: GUEST,30_button
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 04:49 PM

Weight IS a factor for Morris players. I have a light Morse and a heavy Jeffries; the difference is huge in terms of pressure on the tendons of the hands and arms, muscular tiredness, etc.

As you point out, a neck strap/cord can help, but i've tried it and find it constricting. Also, many of us are wary about marring expensive vintage instruments with strap fasteners.

The answer, in my humble opinion, is physical conditioning: exercises to strengthen the arms, smart stretching, etc. Then weight is much less of a factor.

Weight is less of a factor for those who can play seated.


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 02:22 AM

EBarnacle (before):"One of the major reasons I sold the Edeophone was its weight. At that time, I was constantly on stage with a group which generally played standing up. The Edeophone was too much for my wrists, even then. As a fencer, my wrists are not exactly weak but the constant load was too much for them".
(now: "The instrument was a 56 button tenor treble and it weighed significantly more than my then and current Wheatstone. Even though it was ebony ended and beautiful, it weighed too much."

RE:If you do talk about *carrying effort* and not about *pumping effort* you do have a rational argument here but as you also report that it was your *wrists* that suffered and not the *thumbs* I get a little bit suspicious still.Can you separate that distictly yourself? Other question are in what position you held the instrument and if you had tried conventional "wrist straps"?

(As a comparable example I can play ( rather energetically) my 2500g baritone-treble standing up without any rest for two hours using my modified handles while the same musical activity with the common 1250g treble demands a rest every 5 minutes. This is the common "ergonomic" experience - if static work is limited to about 10% of the maximal muscular power it can go on "for ever" if energy is supplied)


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 02:56 AM

GUEST,30 button:"Weight IS a factor for Morris players... the difference is huge in terms of pressure on the tendons of the hands and arms, muscular tiredness".

RE:For some reason a common playing position for Morris Anglo playing is with the instrument high (Kimber style?)Is this your way too? Have your tried consequently a real low position?

> "As you point out, a neck strap/cord can help, but i've tried it and find it constricting.

RE:The constriction from common neckstrap arrangements is understandable.Mostly being too thin and used in wrong position.They rather also be elastic to work properly with a concertina. Check:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSsBwO2PTVE

> "Also, many of us are wary about marring expensive vintage instruments with strap fasteners".

RE:This is not a motivated fear at all. No "fasteners" are necessary and I am against such violations myself.The simplest as safest way to attach neck- or shoulder straps is by an intermediate strap fixated to two of the endbolts each side. Se again the above Youtube clip.

> "The answer, in my humble opinion, is physical conditioning: exercises to strengthen the arms, smart stretching, etc. Then weight is much less of a factor".

RE:Physical training certainly is a major common health promotor and "work hygien" is as important for common resistance to suffering from overload hazards but generally speaking more seldom an efficient solution for specific problems when handling a certain "tool". Here adaptation/modification of the tool itself is the prime approach: Fitting the task to the man firstly ,not fitting the man to the task!

> "Weight is less of a factor for those who can play seated".

RE: Certainly so but I often prefer playing standing myself and as I said this definitely can be arranged to full satisfaction even with quite heavy concertinas. The common objections seem to be related to conservatism and fashion arguments mostly. If swinging the instrument around a lot the neck- shoulderstraps can be a bit awkward maybe but that you probably do just occasionally and by using clips to fixate the straps they can be quckly removed for that occasion...


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 03:52 AM

"Concertina weight - why bother?"
Ryanair?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Concertina weight - why bother?
From: Guran
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 08:52 AM

"Concertina weight - why bother?"
Ryanair?
Jim Carroll

RE: Good point!! I use to play a tune when checking in and then they usually let me on - with extra cabin luggage and overweight for free -if promising not to take it out of the case again during the flight. I have willingly accepted these generous conditions...


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